Broadcom announces VideoCore IV

December 17, 2009 | 13:03

Tags: #gpu #h264 #hdmi #isp #lpddr2 #videocore-iv

Companies: #broadcom

If you're in the market for a seriously speedy mobile device, keep an eye out for Broadcom's VideoCore IV graphics processor under the hood.

As reported over on Unwired View, the chip manufacturer has just taken the wraps off its BMC2763 mobile processor - also known as the VideoCore IV. Designed for use in next-generation mobile 'phones and mobile Internet devices, it's got some pretty impressive specs under the hood.

First up is its ability to not only decode a 1080p HD-quality video stream on the fly - decent, but not unheard of in a mobile processor - but also to encode at this resolution in the popular H.264 format, recording full HD video on the fly before outputting it via HDMI. Still imagery hasn't been neglected either, with the company claiming the processor can handle the output from a sensor of up to twenty megapixels before breaking sweat.

Games performance has been given a tweak too, with the company claiming a 1 gigapixel fill rate and the ability to output rendered images via HDMI at up to 1080p natively - opening up the promise of portable high-definition gaming that can be easily connected to a big-screen display without looking like a dog's dinner.

Based around a 40nm process, the VideoCore IV promises between 20 and 50 percent energy savings over the company's prior VideoCore III processor, despite the improved specifications. Based on a reference platform design, Broadcom believes that the processor will offer around four to six hours continuous 1080p recording or eight to ten hours playback before needing a charge.

Impressively, Broadcom has packed most of the components required in a modern mobile device - GPU, 128MB of LPDDR2 graphics RAM, image signal processor, HDMI output and USB 2.0 support - in a single package, which should help keep device sizes down when it starts hitting the shelves.

Which, sadly, is the bad news: the company expects devices based around the new chip to hit the market some time in 2011 - with HTC hotly tipped to be among the first to market.

Does the performance sound like a dream come true in a mobile device, or would you have to see it in action before you believed the hype? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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